After curating a special exhibition of men’s brands at the August 2011 Project trade show, Nick Wooster found himself involved in a number of exclusive collaborations, the fruits of which were on display at the most recent edition of Project. He worked with labels such as Globe-Trotter, Want les Essentials de la Vie and Orlebar Brown to create special bags, tanks and underwear. But first, said the former Neiman Marcus men’s fashion director, came shoes. Wooster teamed with high-end New York men’s shoe shop Leffot and Alfred Sargent to create a camouflage boot and oxford. Wooster credits Leffot owner Steven Taffel with helping to get the project started. “We did it together,” he said. “I live across the street, so I’m in the store a lot. But this was the first time I’ve put my name on [a design].” The shoes were available to retail accounts at Project and also will be sold at Leffot.
Lynsey Hand is venturing beyond traditional trade shows. The London-based designer is taking her two footwear brands — Miss L-Fire and Shellys — to Ink-N-Iron, a three-day tattoo and hot-rod festival aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif., in July. “It’s a whole sort of lifestyle thing,” Hand said. “I like the retro culture of tattoos because it is similar to vintage clothing, and I like that tattoos can [appeal to] lots of different types of people.” So does she have ink of her own? Hand revealed that she, in fact, has a tattoo — a nautical design of rope and stars on her right wrist — and is planning to go back to the parlor for more. She’s thinking of putting spark plugs on her left forearm.
Michael Greenberg is an animal guy. The Skechers USA Inc. president has been spending a lot of time recently with the brand’s newest ambassador, Mr. Quiggly, including a visit to FN Platform last week. “I’m a dog lover — my brother has two French bulldogs,” he said. Mr. Quiggly made his first appearance in Skechers’ Super Bowl commercial, and now that the commercial is back on air, the brand continues to put a focus on the running category, including its partnership with Olympic medalist and long-distance runner Meb Keflezighi. “We are 100 percent dedicated to the [running] sport,” Greenberg said. So has the executive taken the opportunity to run with Keflezighi himself? “If Meb will have me, I’ll do it,” he quipped.
Joanne Stoker often says she uses travel as design inspiration for her London-based footwear brand, but during her trips everywhere from India to the U.S., she also hunts for unique vintage furniture. “I love unusual [pieces], and my flat is full of things like vinyl chairs from the 1960s,” said Stoker. The hobby also comes with another benefit, said the designer, who prides herself on being thrifty: She uses the furniture in photo shoots for her lookbooks and marketing campaigns.
Kenny Powers, the raunchy, fictional K-Swiss pitchman played by Danny McBride, returns today in the California-based firm’s third (and final) installment of the ad campaign. The character, who has helped build viral buzz for the company, acted first as a spokesman and then as company CEO in a mock-hostile takeover. Watch for his first product, delivered Steve Jobs-style.